Debased homophobe punched a gay man’s teeth out for flying a Pride flag on his own lawn. He’s now been labelled a ‘danger to community’


A homophobic thug who punched a gay man’s teeth out for flying a Pride flag on his own lawn has been held without bail after being labelled a danger to the community.

Michael Cates, 34, of Brockton, Massachusetts has been charged with a hate crime over the incident on June 29. Cates was allegedly driving past the home of Tom Anderson and his husband Jacob when he caught sight of the Pride flag and a mailbox decorated with a rainbow sticker.

Cates became so enraged that he stopped his car, yelled a homophobic slur and punched Tom Anderson twice in the face, knocking out two of his teeth.

After an investigation, police identified Cates as a suspect and filed charges against him on July 23. He was arraigned last week and ordered to be held without bail for up to 120 days while he awaits trial.

“I am very pleased the defendant was held without bail as a danger to the victim and the community, which he clearly is,” district attorney Thomas Quinn said in a statement.

“This is outrageous and malicious conduct. Targeting someone because of their sexual orientation, and violently assaulting them, will not be tolerated.”

Gay man has his teeth knocked out for flying a Pride flag in his own yard

Tom Anderson says was attacked outside his own home (Screenshot: Boston 25 News)

At the hearing prosecutors raised Cates’ violent criminal history, with seven different charges including assault and battery on a police officer, distribution of drugs and illegal possession of a firearm.

While in jail in 2011, Cates attacked another inmate and injured him so badly that he had to be flown to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. The victim’s family was called because doctors weren’t sure he would survive.

The state of Maine is currently requesting Cates’ extradition for an active in which he is charged with distributing drugs.

“The facts and the record here are egregious,” said assistant district attorney Bryan Thompson.

“A lot of times when we see crimes in this courtroom, we can kind of infer some of the motivations behind them, a lot of them pointing to mental health issues, substance abuse issues, financial issues. This — this is just ridiculous.

“This is him driving down the road, as alleged, seeing gay Pride flags, seeing two men outside the home and thinking it’s OK for him to step out of the car and punch that man in the face twice.”

Jacob Anderson told The Enterprise he was “grateful to the DA’s office for representing us and our community,” but added that he and his husband are “staying vigilant” as they’ve had other people making hateful statements and gestures while passing by their house since the attack.